“Statue built to towering height as a symbol of pride and strength of crores of Indians, as a source of inspiration for future generation,”
– Narendra Modi
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi enhanced India’s esteem and pride in the world by giving shape to the world’s tallest statue in Gujarat”
– Chief Minister Vijay Rupani
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[dropcap]K[/dropcap]evadia Colony (Gujarat): Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the world’s tallest 182-meter tall ‘Statue of Unity’ as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary today near the Kevadia Colony, overlooking the equally grandiose Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) dam on the Narmada, nestled between the Vindhyachal and Satpura Ranges.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the statue has been built to towering height befitting the towering personality of Sardar Patel, as a living specimen of Sardar Patel to reflect his resolve, determination and contribution in uniting India at the time of Independence. It will continue to be a source of inspiration for the future generations about the unity and sacrifices of Indians.
Mr. Modi performed the ceremony of unveiling the statue virtually by pulling a lever. He expressed his happiness to be a part of the ceremony, to be able to complete the project as a mission in historic time frame he had initiated when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He acknowledged the contribution of crores of farmers from lakhs of villages in the form of iron farm implements in building this statue who took it as a campaign. He directed the flag and hammer the Jharkhand farmer carried at the beginning of the campaign be placed in the museum near the pedestal of the Statue. The day and the moment will be etched in golden letters in the annals of history. He complimented all Gujaratis, Indians and those who loved India for the feat.
He said the statue will not only stand out as a symbol of pride and strength of crores of Indians but also contributing to the economy of the nation and job creation. The project will help thousands of tribal people living in the surrounding areas improve their standard of living and will become a centre of tourism of unity.
Mr. Modi said the completion of the towering statue bestowed the place befitting Sardar Patel’s towering personality. It is like Sardar Patel’s abhishek from sky to earth.
He said that Sardar Patel combined the Chanakya’s diplomacy and Shivaji Maharaj’s valour in his struggle to integrate 550 princely states in India at the time of Independence, not caring for what the world will think or what will be their reaction. It was Sardar Patel’s historic speech on July 8, 1947 that prompted princes to surrender their priceless assets in the cause of nation. All these events will be documented and preserved in the museum.
Mr. Modi remembered how Sardar Patel as an extraordinary leader, born in a simple farmer’s family, converted criticism into strength. Just as integration of India was Sardar Patel’s answer to forces doubting India’s capacity for self-rule, he said, the Statue of Unity is the answer to pessimists doubting India’s future.
He said that Sardar Patel showed the path to the nation, uniting it as a geographical entity in which Indians can travel from Kargil to Kanyakumari or Kutch to Kohima, without any hindrance. Or else, Indians would have to take visa to see the lion sanctuary in Gir forest and Somnath temple in Gujarat or Char Minar in Hyderabad, even ensuring women’s participation in nation building. While India is now trying to be an economic and social power, there would not have been trains from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
Recalling the contribution of used farming equipment made by farmers and soils collected from different parts of the country, Mr. Modi stated that the sentiments attached to these acts are the soul of this statue. Terming the contributions made by youths and future generations in building ‘Naya Bharat’ as a vital, Prime Minister said that the world’s tallest statue will give message of bravery, transparency, and honesty, besides these, it will also give constant inspiration and will fulfill our pledge of ‘One India, Best India.’
He also termed the statue as a symbol of “engineering marvel”. The entire mammoth project was completed by 2,500 engineers and workers with their day-night efforts under the competent leadership of 90-year-old, well known and Padma Shri Awardees sculptor, Mr. Ram Suthar. This would not have been achieved without having sentiments of “national unity, dedication, and feelings of a “mission in mind”. All these contributors have become an important part of the history. The notion of making ‘Statue of Unity’, as a befitting honour to Sardar Saheb, had come into mind on October 31, 2010, which has become a reality today.
The prime minister said that the state government’s efforts to develop this spot as tourist destination would provide direct employments to thousands of tribal youths. The spot will give insight into tribal culture, lifestyle and food habits to the visiting tourists. This and other spots like modern museum in Delhi, Mahatma Mandir, Dandi Kutir, Panchtirth Memorial of Dr. Ambedkar in Gandhinagar, Chhoturam in Haryana, statue of Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra, etc would provide inspiration to the future generations.
Chief Minister Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani termed Sardar Patel as a world personality. The world is experiencing tallness of personality and statue of Sardar Patel. On behalf of 6.5 crore citizens of Gujarat, Mr. Rupani handed over “Abhinandan Letter” (Congratulations Letter) to Mr. Modi. Chief Minister also pointed out that the united India was result of efforts of Sardar Patel.
The occasion was also graced by Gujarat Governor Mr. O. P. Kohli, Karnataka Governor Mr. Vajubhai Vala, Governor of Madhya Pradesh Mrs. Anandiben Patel, Speaker of Gujarat Legislative Assembly Mr. Rajendra Trivedi, and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Nitinbhai Patel, Members of Rajya Sabha, BJP National President Mr. Amitbhai Shah, Gujarat council of ministers, Chief Secretary Dr. J. N. Singh, family members of Sardar Saheb and others.